How Long Does Drug Rehab Take?

Drug Rehab

Drug addiction is a terrible disease that leads to the compulsive use of substances even when the user knows the drug use is harming them and their life. By the time addiction has set in, you can no longer control what you are doing. In order to master cravings and withstand triggers, people need professional drug addiction treatment. Rehab facilities all work to help clients achieve sobriety and learn to maintain it, but they do this in different ways. The needs of the individual play a big role in the type of interventions used and the length of a treatment period.

When you are considering entering rehab, you are confronted with a lot of information and instead of clearing everything up, it can make things seem a bit more confused for a while. General information gathering may not help you to understand what you should expect from drug addiction treatment, what being in treatment feels like, or how long you are required to remain in treatment. These questions can be answered generally, but the specifics will be determined based on your individual needs and the services available at the rehab.

To explore the services provided at various treatment programs, call 888-805-3559. You can speak with an addiction specialist and narrow down what you are looking for and match it to appropriate treatment facilities.

Types of Rehab

The type of rehab you choose to enter is one factor that plays a role in establishing the duration of your treatment. The two categories of care are inpatient and outpatient. People who choose inpatient care commit to living at the facility for the entire length of their treatment. People who choose outpatient care are only required to enter the facility for formal, scheduled treatment activities. Each type of program has its own set of advantages.

Inpatient treatment tends to be more intensive, as all distractions are removed from a patient’s life. This allows total focus on recovery, which can speed up the process. A person who is completely engaged in their rehab program may spend less time in a program because they have so much time and attention to dedicate to it. However, most people spend more time in inpatient care because they have such a severe degree of addiction that they need long-term intensive care.

Outpatient treatment is great for patients who need to fulfill obligations to their job and family while they establish their sobriety and learn to manage it long-term. Some participants in these programs need a longer period of care because they are having to balance their treatment with other responsibilities and they can’t devote all of their energy to recovery from drug addiction. If a truly lengthy treatment duration is warranted, outpatient care might not be a good fit.

Popular Treatment Lengths

Most people are familiar with 28- to 30-day programs because these are the ones depicted in popular culture and the ones that most people find themselves in. But, there are many other treatment lengths to consider. Many people benefit most from remaining in and addiction treatment program for 60-, 90-, or 120-days. Although, outpatient programs tend to be shorter in length.

Any program that lasts for six months or longer is considered long-term and these can be great because they give patients time for their brains to heal, chances to practice recovery behaviors, and room for relationships to begin mending. Long-term rehabs are typically inpatient and take place in non-hospital settings. For example, therapeutic communities have planned stays of between six and 12 months.

How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost?

The Popularity of the 28-Day Rehab

Just because something is the most used doesn’t mean that is is the most effective. No rehab program is the best option for all people and that includes the 28-day stay. Military residential drug and alcohol rehab was established in the 1970s. Patients in programs run by the United States Air Force had to follow existing reassignment rules, which stated any person who was absent for more than 30 days would be reassigned. To keep members of the air force from entering the difficult reassignment process, treatment stays were limited to 28-days.

Though programs of this length are often effective, it is important to remember that no medical or scientific evidence went into establishing this length of treatment. Now, the popularity of the 28-day stay remains because it is the period most often covered by insurance policies.

The Argument for Longer Treatment Durations

Though there is no magic number of days that guarantees a person will be free of addiction, there have been studies used to compare the recovery outcomes of various treatment lengths.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse studies a group of 1,700 addicts and the ones who were in rehab for 90 days or longer experienced much lower rates of relapse (17 percent) when compared to those who attended for less than 90 days (35 percent).  The link between longer treatment lengths and reduced rates of relapse has been borne out in other scientific research as well.

Factors That Play a Role in Treatment Length

As mentioned earlier, the type of treatment you choose will have an impact. But so will other factors.

The severity of your addiction has a big impact on treatment duration. If you have a severe addiction, you will generally require a lengthy detox and that cuts into your formal treatment time, meaning a shorter stay may not be adequate to get to the roots of negative, drug seeking behaviors and correct them. Further, more work needs to be done to facilitate long-term sobriety when an addiction is severe.

If you have a co-occurring mental condition on top of your addiction, both will need to be treated simultaneously. That can extend the duration of your rehab stay because the impact of each on the other complicates both diagnosis and treatment, especially is medication needs to be prescribed. Finding the right medication and the proper dose takes time.

To learn more about the role different elements of your situation play on treatment lengths, call 888-805-3559. You can describe your situation and learn about how your needs fit with a variety of treatment types.